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1955 La Traviata Comp

4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 10 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00000630Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,525 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. La Traviata: Preludio (Orchestra)
2. La Traviata: Act One: Dell'invito trascorsa e gia l'lora
3. La Traviata: Act One: Libiamo, ne' lieti calici
4. La Traviata: Act One: Che e cio (coro/Violetta/Flora/Marchese/Barone/Dottore/Gaston/Alfredo)
5. La Traviata: Act One: Un di felice, eterea (Alfredo/Violetta)
6. La Traviata: Act One: Ebben? Che diavol fate? (Gastone/Violetta/Alfredo)
7. La Traviata: Act One: Si ridesta in ciel l'aurora (Flora/Gastone/Barone/Dottore/Marchese/Coro)
8. La Traviata: Act One: E strano! E strano!
9. La Traviata: Act One: Ah, fors'e lui che l'anima
10. La Traviata: Act One: Follie! follie! Delirio vano e questo! (Violetta)
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. La Traviata: Act Two: Scene Two: Avram lieta di maschere la notte (Flora/Marchese/Dottore)
2. La Traviata: Act Two: Scene Two: Noi siamo zingarelle (Coro/Flora/Marchese/Dottore)
3. La Traviata: Act Two: Scene Two: Di Madride noi siam mattadori (Coro/Gastone/Flora/Dottore/Marchese)
4. La Traviata: Act Two: Scene Two: Alfredo! Voi!
5. La Traviata: Act Two: Scene Two: Invitato a qui seguirmi
6. La Traviata: Act Two: Scene Two: Ogni suo aver tal femmina (Flora/Gastone/Barone/Dottore/Marchese/Coro)
7. La Traviata: Act Two: Scene Two: Di sprezzo degno se stesso rende (Germont/Alfredo/Flora/Gastone/Barone/Dottore/Marchese/Coro)
8. La Traviata: Act Two: Scene Two: Alfredo, Alfredo, di questo core (Violetta/Germont/Alfredo/Gastone/Barone/Dottore/Marchese/Coro)
9. La Traviata: Act Three: Preludio (Orchestra)
10. La Traviata: Act Three: Annina? ...Comandate? (Violetta/Annina/Dottore)
See all 20 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Maria Callas, qui a marqué comme nulle autre le rôle de Violetta, a enregistré plusieurs fois l'opéra de Verdi, sans compter les nombreuses éditions non officielles, régulièrement mises à la disposition d'un public discophile toujours avide de réécouter l'une des plus belles voix du siècle. Cet enregistrement de 1955 est sans conteste le meilleur qu'elle ait laissé à la postérité : une captation publique réalisée à la Scala de Milan, l'une de ces soirées lyriques traversées d'un bout à l'autre par le génie pur. Un miracle dont Maria Callas est l'instigatrice, aux côtés de Carlo Maria Giulini, presque un inconnu en ces temps-là. --Pierre Guillaume

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As a singer myself I have to say that I am sick of this constant, unmusical and tasteless Callas-bashing. I'm studying and singing Violetta myself so I dare say I DO know the role a little better than you. What I find to be odd is "exaggerated sick vocal colours in act III"??? Act III is Flora's party, so what are you talking about? 1955 was Callas' greatest years. She sang the Prima at la Scala (A great honour) and gave great performances as Violetta, Norma, Lucia and Amina. This Traviata, which was a legend in its own time, is maybe the best there is. I hear no "inept" coloratura in "Sempre libera", quite the contrary, she sings it flawlessly and crowns it with a thrilling E-flat. Act II is Verdi-singing at its finest. Callas' transformation from a happy lover to a heartbroken dying woman couldn't be more intense. Her legato and breath-control is flawless, just listen to the great high A on "Ah dite alla giovine", a dazzling effect. And the meaningful change of colour on the word "pura" is amazing. At Flora's party her confrontation with Alfredo is shockingly real. Her desperate "Va sciagurato.." is amazing, finally a non Italian singer who knows how to pronounce my language! And then the pianissimi on "Alfredo, Alfredo"... My God, how beautiful! The last act had La Scala in tears. Some were crying in act II as well. Callas' vocal colouring for a dying woman is not at all "overacted" but subtle and very gentle. She finds colours and nuances in Verdi's music no other Violetta found. Her "Addio del passato" is a model of amazing Italian, amazing phrasing, perfect legato and crystal clear diction. And the final duet will have you in tears with Callas' returning to her glowing voice on "Oh gioia!".Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Maria Callas was born in the 1920's and died in 1977. During the Post World War II Era, she reigned supreme as the undisputed diva of the opera world. In the 50's and 60's she dazzled audiences with her incredibly dramatic opera performances. Maria Callas was as much an actress as she was an opera legend. Initially, Callas struggled for her success. She was an overweight immigrant from Greece who took up opera as a profession without her share of bad experiences. One of her opera instructors criticized her for having an "ugly" voice and said she would never make it to the Met. But Maria Callas proved them all wrong. Even with some faults in her voice, she could stir up audiences with beautiful arias and above everything, very dramatic touches. Maria Callas could have been a Hollwood actress of the 50's and 60's had she not selected opera as a career. She certainly had the status of a celebrity. Everywhere she went, the paparazzi hounded her. She was once even so irritated by one photographer that she nearly clawed his face. Her diva temperament is also one of the things she is remembered for. At a time before Whitney Houston or Jennifer Lopez, a singing diva was to be found in Maria Callas. She was demanding, she was selective, and hogged all the applause for herself. But we can't think of Maria Callas any other way and we even love her for it.
Her marriage to Aristotle Onaissis stirred up a cascade of publicity. Onaissis was a Greek multimillionaire who would later divorce Callas and marry the widowed wife of President J.F.K....Jackie Kennedy. It is said that Maria Callas became very depressed about the whole thing and from that moment on her life went downward until her death. Maria Callas never admitted to this, and I believe her, for she was an impressively strong woman.
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Format: Audio CD
If ever the was an opera recording that deserved the highest praise despite its technical deficiencies, this is it. Many reviewers below complain about this recording's sonics -- it is a live, mono recording from 1955. But focusing on sonic problems in the face of Callas's magnificent performance is like deprecating the *Mona Lisa* because there are a few cracks in the paint. Callas gives here the ultimate opera performance: she not only has complete command of the music, but she works within it to create a living, breathing character who develops during the course of, and as a result of, the drama. What she does is better than acting while singing; it is acting *by means of* singing. (And, I should add, the other principals are excellent.)
If you have not yet listened to a lot of opera, or if you just want a recording that will sound pretty in the background, then you will probably not appreciate this set. As your tastes become more educated, however, return to this. You will be blown away.
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Format: Audio CD
What Callas did in that performance was both unparalleled and totally destructive for her voice. Apart from the first Act she uses the vocal mask of a sick woman which is mainly being done by singing "mezza voce" and all the vocal colors are being added upon this "vocal mask of disease" which could terrify any vocal teacher whose goal in life would be to protect a singer's voice from dangerous "lethal" attempts. Indeed this Mask changes the voice of Callas in a way that we only saw in her Lady Macbeth (vocal mask of an "almost manly" voice) or her Butterfly (the vocal mask of a child) or her Mimi (the mask of fragility). That ability of Callas not only to add vocal colors to the notes but to wear an entirely different vocal mask is simply unique cause the damage it causes to the voice was a price no other singer was willing to pay!!! Indeed her "Morro..." her "Addio..." in "Che fai..." are heartbreaking but I would also mention the word "Angeli..." at the last aria where the so called "ugly" voice becomes the most angelical and beautiful I have ever heard... No human could hear this performance without crying...! Simply the best Traviata of the century. The rest of the cast is simply perfect and Giullini at his best night! Indeed that night the audience "took a glimpse in Paradise from a small keyhole".
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